When Diana and I bought our house four years ago, one of the things that needed attention was the bounce on our back deck. It was kind of fun walking across and feeling the give (a little like a trampoline), but eventually, the constant pressure of people and furniture would lead to broken decking. So I crawled underneath and installed a big treated timber from one end to the other to absorb the shocks from above. This is the same concept that New Testament Jesus-follower Paul was talking about when he wrote: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV84). We may think that encouraging is simply about making someone feel better, but its definition is “to make strong”. Pressures are upon us as we endeavor to follow Jesus and we are not equipped to bear that weight on our own. We were called by the community of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be a community of believers (the Body of Christ), and to crawl under the burdens and put in place the timbers of encouragement! What might this look like? A phone call, text, email, or letter. Reminders of God’s goodness and promised provision. Prayers and saying you’re praying. A shared task (and much more). It is effort, it is intentional, and it is effective! My deck is a place of rest, relaxation, and joy because people can gather, eat, and laugh in safety and security because it was made strong. Who needs your encouragement today so they can enjoy the deck? Reach out!